As organizations kick off digital transformations and plan moves to the cloud, they face consequential infrastructure decisions. While low-cost, maintenance-free public clouds offer several advantages, private cloud computing presents greater control, security and flexibility for workloads with demanding regulatory or performance requirements. Rather than a binary choice, it can be more useful to view private and public cloud through the lens of a hyper-optimized hybrid cloud, with each system acting as a tool in your digital transformation journey.
Private cloud environments come in different forms. As this dedicated computing infrastructure, private cloud enables organizations to create a customized environment that meets distinct workload needs. But as IT leaders face internal pressure to move to the cloud quickly and efficiently, navigating hybrid, public and private cloud computing decisions can be difficult — and it has long-term implications. As you contemplate the future of your IT environment, get up to speed on the features and unique benefits of private cloud.
What Is the Difference Between Public and Private Cloud?
While it is similar to public clouds like AWS and Microsoft Azure, private cloud infrastructure is exclusive to one organization. While AWS and Azure users access the same Amazon- and Microsoft-owned computing resources, in an enterprise private cloud only one tenant organization accesses these resources. Still, public and private cloud share many of the same business benefits, including easy scalability and self-service.
Private cloud infrastructure grants organizations more flexibility than AWS or Azure, but at the expense of managing the incremental infrastructure to support it. Particularly with on-premise computing hardware, private cloud requires deeper infrastructure expertise and more ongoing attention. Considerations like ongoing maintenance, software updates and staffing needs would be handled by a third party under a public cloud system. The differences between public and private cloud underscore the higher security and flexibility of independent infrastructure, but also reflect the increased investment.
While private cloud types can be organized by the infrastructure they provide (software only, or software and hardware), they are most commonly broken down into three categories:
Virtual private cloud: This is an isolated cloud environment within a public cloud. While the server is shared with other users of that public cloud, the organizations’ computing resources are not. Virtual private cloud options like Amazon VPC or Azure Virtual Network provide the security of an on-premise IT environment with the convenience and network of a public cloud.
Hosted private cloud: In hosted environments, a service provider (for instance, Ensono) is in charge of the environment, but the servers are not shared. Service providers handle hardware maintenance and software updates for the private cloud, which may be hosted on-premises or in a data center.
- Managed private cloud: For organizations with limited IT resources, managed private cloud offers the most hands-off approach. A cloud service provider takes on every cloud management task, hosting, monitoring and maintaining your private cloud environment. The managed private cloud provider also ensures software is regularly updated.
Why Is Private Cloud Beneficial?
While public cloud may deliver the scalability, affordability and outsourced IT staffing sought by some organizations, others are looking for more control over certain workloads or their entire computing environment. In these situations, enterprise private cloud offers a higher level of control, security and flexibility — while providing many of the same benefits as public cloud.
When public cloud — such as AWS, Azure, Google Cloud or IBM Cloud — can’t provide the necessary level of service availability, uptime or risk tolerance that your organization needs, private cloud computing stands out as the obvious alternative. With hardware and resources dedicated only to your organization, a private cloud brings reliable and better workload performance to your organization.
One of the most significant appeals of private cloud is enhanced security. Because it is an independent environment with internal hosting and company firewalls, private cloud is the go-to computing method for businesses with high security needs. Integrating custom and advanced security, and meeting zonal separation requirements are done more easily in a private cloud setup. Private cloud environments also avoid any risk of exposing sensitive information to third-party providers and enable digital transformation without compromising data privacy. In some cases, contracts may require businesses to keep confidential information on premises.
Beyond security, there are many other reasons IT leaders would opt for self-owned and managed infrastructure. Private cloud enables businesses to maintain workloads in close proximity to each other or physical devices, maximize investments in hardware and unlock greater flexibility. With a proprietary infrastructure, organizations can also expect better cost predictability on current and future capacity needs.
Lastly, private cloud businesses don’t have to worry about refactoring or changing their applications, a step that often comes with moving workloads to public cloud. Minimizing impact to applications when upgrading, modernizing or migrating the underlying infrastructure is a crucial consideration for businesses.
In 2019, IDC data showed that 80% of customers were repatriating public cloud applications or data to a private cloud. They reported that 50% of their public cloud applications would move to a private cloud or non-cloud environment within the next two years — a trend that may have been accelerated by pandemic-driven shifts to digital.
IT decision makers cited security, performance and cost as the top three drivers of repatriation, highlighting the appeal of private cloud’s differentiators. Fearing data breaches, seeking faster computing and wary of fluctuating budgets, organizations are turning to managed private cloud.
Finding a Managed Private Cloud Provider
Moving to private cloud can seem like a complex, daunting process — highlighting the need to partner with trusted private cloud providers. As IT skills gaps grow and budgets tighten, your cloud partner becomes a crucial piece of your organization’s future. Finding a reliable third-party provider is key to minimizing the risk of cloud adoption and building a foundation for sustainable success with managed private cloud.
Search for private cloud providers with the experience, expertise and resources to help advance digital transformation and maximize the impact of cloud transformation. Your partner should have flexible solutions to meet your unique computing, storage, network, security and compliance requirements, along with multiple hosting environments and service tiers. Look for a simple online interface and strategic processes for improving governance, security and compliance. Flexible pricing aligned with your needs should also be a priority. For example, Ensono offers Ensono® FlexSM, which allows clients to shift workloads without penalty across Ensono’s service platforms. The provider should also have expertise in managing and supporting solutions in legacy infrastructure (including mainframe- or midrange-based workloads) as well as in private and public cloud.
Choosing between public and private cloud, or evaluating multi-cloud possibilities, is a consequential decision. From technical operations to future business capabilities, this is an important step for the long-term health of your organization. As you move forward, ensure your private cloud provider is unbiased, on your side and able to guide you toward your digital transformation goals.
Your Partner for Private Cloud Services
Ensono understands the importance of your move to the cloud — and we know how to help advance your business through the private cloud. Whether you’re considering hosted, managed or virtual private cloud, our private cloud services are tailored to your needs. We help you overcome IT challenges and move to an environment that puts your organizational goals within reach. We’ve helped organizations build infrastructure that saves millions of dollars per year and improves IT control while maintaining flexible operations.
Ensono private cloud services accelerate your digital transformation, improve business outcomes and enhance security, governance and compliance. And with the addition of Ensono Envision, we deliver unprecedented insights into your IT infrastructure, giving you the actionable information and IT management tools needed to grow.
Unsure about private cloud solutions and how your organization could benefit? Contact Ensono to learn more and get a private cloud consultation.